University housing in Italy

Sleeping in unused college dorms can be a great way to stay and save in Italy

From sometime in late May or early June, when students head home for the summer, through the end of August and even into September, universities across Italy open their dorms up to travelers. In some cases, you can get even rooms during school breaks and weekends as well—and, if enrollment is down, they'll rent empty dorms out year-round.

Rates vary, from around $20 per person in a dorm to $26 to $110 for a private double—but can also run as little as $150 per week. What's more, folks under 26 often pay even less (presumably because young 'uns will just blend in, so the administrators don't have to bother explaining what a bunch of old fogies are doing living on campus).

So brush up your partying skills, dust off those dim memories of the lyrics to Louie Louie, and get ready to share the bathrooms—it's time to go back to college.

How to find university dorms for travelers in Italy

  • Milan: Residenza Universitaria Bassini ( - Two-night minimum.
    Rates: Single from €33.
  • Lake Como: Residenza Universitaria Santa Teresa ( - Two-night minimum.
    Rates: Doubles from €56.
  • Urbino: Collegio del Colle, Collegio Aquilone, and Collegio Serpentine (
    Rates: Singles from €16.
  • Sadly, there's no official Website, buy you can get a list of student housing in dozens of Italian cities—including biggies like Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, and Palermo—by sending a letter asking for the "Guide for Foreign Students" to:
    The Italian Ministry of Education
    Viale Trastevere
    00153 Rome, Italy


Tips & links

Lodging links & resources
Useful Italian
Useful Italian phrases and terms for lodging

English (Inglese) Italian (Italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...a hotel un albergo oon al-BEAR-go
...a B&B un bed-and-breakfast oon bet hand BREK-fust
...a rental room un'affittacamera oon ah-feet-ah-CAH-mair-ra apartment for rent un appartamento oon ah-part-tah-MENT-toh
...a farm stay un agriturismo oon ah-gree-tour-EES-moh
...a hostel un ostello oon oh-STEHL-loh
How much is...? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
a single room una singola OO-nah SEEN-go-la
double room for single use [will often be offered if singles are unavailable] doppia uso singola DOPE-pee-ya OO-so SEEN-go-la
a double room with two beds una doppia con due letti OO-nah DOPE-pee-ya cone DOO-way LET-tee
a double room with one big bed una matrimoniale OO-nah mat-tree-moan-nee-YAAL-lay
triple room una tripla OO-nah TREE-plah
with private bathroom con bagno cone BAHN-yoh
without private bathroom senza bagno [they might say con bagno in comune—"with a communal bath"] SEN-zah BAHN-yoh
for one night per una notte pair OO-nah NOH-tay
for two nights per due notti pair DOO-way NOH-tee
for three nights per tre notti pair tray NOH-tee
Is breakfast included? É incluso la prima colazione? ay in-CLOO-soh lah PREE-mah coal-laht-zee-YOAN-nay
Is there WiFi? C'é WiFi? chay WHY-fy?
May I see the room? Posso vedere la camera? POH-soh veh-DAIR-eh lah CAH-mair-rah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
Is there a cheaper one? C'é una più economica? chay OO-nah pew eh-ko-NO-mee-kah

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